Turkish drone strike in northern Iraq kills one: official

In this file photo, security vehicles move in a motorcade during the funeral of one of three Kurdish counterterrorism officers killed in an airstrike by a drone that had reportedly originated in Turkey, in the city of Sulaimaniyah in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on September 19, 2023. (Photo by Shwan MOHAMMED / AFP)

One man has been killed in a drone strike in northern Iraq, Turkish Minute reported, citing Agence France-Presse and a local official in the autonomous Kurdistan region on Friday who blamed Turkey for the attack.

Ankara regularly carries out ground and air operations in northern Iraq against positions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long war against the Turkish state.

“A Turkish drone strike on a car” killed a man, said Ihsan Chalabi, mayor of the mountainous Sidakan district near Iraq’s borders with Turkey and Iran.

The body found on Friday is of “an inhabitant of the region who is a member of the Peshmerga,” the local Kurdish security forces, Chalabi told AFP.

For decades, Turkey has operated several dozen military bases in northern Iraq in its war against the PKK, which Ankara and its Western allies consider a terrorist group.

Both Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government have been accused of tolerating Turkey’s military activities to preserve their close economic ties.

At the beginning of April, a “high-ranking military official” from the PKK was killed in a Turkish drone strike on a car in the mountainous Sinjar region, according to the Kurdistan counterterrorism services.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to visit Iraq on Monday on his first official trip to the country since 2011.

Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet al-Abassi in March ruled out “joint military operations” against the PKK but said that Turkey and Iraq “will work to set up a joint intelligence coordination center.”

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